Postdoctoral Bye Fellow in Biochemistry
Natural Sciences (Biological)
Sherine is interested in understanding the structure, function and dynamics of biological macromolecules in the context of bacterial and viral infections. She is particularly keen on proteins that are involved in translational control, there by regulating microbial gene expression.
Antibiotic resistance is a rising global healthcare concern that needs urgent attention. Many different scientific methods are being explored to find new antibiotics. Sherine’s current research involves the use of fragment-based drug discovery, a powerful approach using very small molecules, to define binding sites on proteins that are targets for new drugs. These small molecules are then progressively built-up chemically, based on knowledge gathered from a range of structural biological, biophysical, biochemical and computational techniques, to create potential antibiotic drug candidates.
Sherine first came to the UK as a British Commonwealth scholar, after graduating from the University of Kerala, India. She did her MSc degree in Medicinal Chemistry (Loughborough University) and trained in drug discovery research in the pharmaceutical industry prior to completing her PhD in Biochemistry (2019) under the supervision of Prof. Sir Tom Blundell at the University of Cambridge. She currently works as a Research Associate in Prof. Blundell lab while collaborating with Prof. Andres Floto (MRC- LMB) and Prof. Chris Abell (Department of Chemistry, Cambridge) groups. Sherine provides training to PhD and project students in the lab as well as supervise second year (Natural Sciences Tripos) students reading Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.
- Thomas SE, Whitehouse AJ, Brown K, Burbaud S, Belardinelli JM, Sangen J, Lahiri R, Libardo MDJ, Gupta P, Malhotra S, Boshoff HIM, Jackson M, Abell C, Coyne AG, Blundell TL, Floto RA, Mendes V. Fragment-based discovery of a new class of inhibitors targeting mycobacterial tRNA modification. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Aug 20;48(14):8099-8112. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkaa539. PMID: 32602532.
- Whitehouse AJ, Thomas SE, Brown KP, Fanourakis A, Chan DS, Libardo MDJ, Mendes V, Boshoff HIM, Floto RA, Abell C, Blundell TL, Coyne AG. Development of Inhibitors against Mycobacterium abscessus tRNA (m1G37) Methyltransferase (TrmD) Using Fragment-Based Approaches. J Med Chem. 2019 Aug 8;62(15):7210-7232. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b00809. Epub 2019 Jul 19. PMID: 31282680.
- Thomas SE, Collins P, James RH, Mendes V, Charoensutthivarakul S, Radoux C, Abell C, Coyne AG, Floto RA, von Delft F, Blundell TL. Structure-guided fragment-based drug discovery at the synchrotron: screening binding sites and correlations with hotspot mapping. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2019 Jun 17;377(2147):20180422. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2018.0422. PMID: 31030650.
- Waman VP, Vedithi SC, Thomas SE, Bannerman BP, Munir A, Skwark MJ, Malhotra S, Blundell TL. Mycobacterial genomics and structural bioinformatics: opportunities and challenges in drug discovery. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2019;8(1):109-118. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2018.1561158. PMID: 30866765.
- Tiwari S, van Tonder AJ, Vilchèze C, Mendes V, Thomas SE, Malek A, Chen B, Chen M, Kim J, Blundell TL, Parkhill J, Weinrick B, Berney M, Jacobs WR Jr. Arginine-deprivation-induced oxidative damage sterilizes Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Sep 25;115(39):9779-9784. doi:10.1073/pnas.1808874115. Epub 2018 Aug 24. PMID: 30143580.
- Thomas SE, Mendes V, Kim SY, Malhotra S, Ochoa-Montaño B, Blaszczyk M, Blundell TL. Structural Biology and the Design of New Therapeutics: From HIV and Cancer to Mycobacterial Infections: A Paper Dedicated to John Kendrew. J Mol Biol. 2017 Aug 18;429(17):2677-2693. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2017.06.014. Epub 2017 Jun 23. PMID: 28648615.
- Chan DS, Mendes V, Thomas SE, McConnell BN, Matak-Vinković D, Coyne AG, Blundell TL, Abell C. Fragment Screening against the EthR-DNA Interaction by Native Mass Spectrometry. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2017 Jun 19;56(26):7488-7491.doi: 10.1002/anie.201702888. Epub 2017 May 31. PMID: 28513917.
- Pandurangan AP, Ascher DB, Thomas SE, Blundell TL. Genomes, structural biology and drug discovery: combating the impacts of mutations in genetic disease and antibiotic resistance. Biochem Soc Trans. 2017 Apr 15;45(2):303-311. doi: 10.1042/BST20160422. PMID: 28408471.
- Shiu-Hin Chan D, Seetoh WG, McConnell BN, Matak-Vinković D, Thomas SE, Mendes V, Blaszczyk M, Coyne AG, Blundell TL, Abell C. Structural insights into the EthR-DNA interaction using native mass spectrometry. Chem Commun (Camb). 2017. Mar 23;53(25):3527-3530. doi: 10.1039/c7cc00804j. PMID: 28287239.
- Malhotra S, Thomas SE, Ochoa Montano B, Blundell TL. Structure-guided target-based drug discovery - exploiting genome information from HIV to mycobacterial infections. Postepy Biochem. 2016;62(3):262-272. English. PMID: 28132480.